Because the Pistons lack any source of offensive consistency the only thing the team has managed is to be consistently awful. Head coach Stan Van Gundy changed the starting lineup in his search for answers but his team was again easily outclassed by a superior team, falling 104-93 to the Golden State Warriors.
Greg Monroe came off of the bench for Detroit and it did nothing to boost the productivity of the bench or create more balance and effectiveness in the starting lineup. Detroit shot 27.7 percent in the first half including 24.1 percent in the paint. Monroe, Josh Smith and Andre Drummond all missed their share of easy ones near the rim and easy ones are hard to come by in Detroit.
The Pistons don't really have a No. 1 option (or a No. 2 option for that matter) and it has created a team that is incredibly easy to guard in the half court. Nobody is a big enough threat from anywhere on the floor to force the defense to react or draw a double team. Opposing teams play man and allow the Pistons to take whatever shots they can get, which they consistently don't convert at a high percentage.
The only person who is a threat to draw a double team is Monroe, and he is too prone to cough it up when the second man comes. The only person who can create off the dribble other than starting point guard Brandon Jennings is Smith, but he doesn't have the handle or vision to be a true creator when he drives into the paint. Instead, he likes to feast off of transition opportunities and kicking it out to the perimeter with strong one-armed passes.
This makes it difficult for Van Gundy to draw up high-percentage looks in the half court. It also means that the degree of difficulty on just about every attempt couldn't possibly be higher.
There won't be much of a breakdown of the game as the result was largely predictable. The lead was double digits at the half and stretched to 20 shortly into the third. By then it was over and it was just a matter of when the clock struck zero. Kind of like how the Pistons season as a whole feels.
The team has three players in its starting lineup who are most successful on offense in a fast-paced game where they can execute in transition (Drummond, Smith, Caldwell-Pope) but have a coach and a system that favors a slower, half-court style. It also doesn't help that Smith and KCP are two of the team's three most prolific shooters.
For the game, the Pistons shot 36.3 percent and there is no hope in sight to fix what ails these Pistons. Smith, Jennings, Drummond and Monroe combined to shoot 18-of-72 (25 percent).
Smith had 18 of those shots and only connected on six of them but he did a lot of other things on offense (12 assists, nine rebounds) that hinted at why Van Gundy cuts Smith so much slack. In a completely broken offense, Smith can sometimes create something out of nothing for his teammates. But he also did a lot of the things that make you wonder why he gets any minutes at all including the requisite misses and some bad defense that left his man (Draymond Green, mostly) open on numerous occasions.
Saginaw-native and Michigan State alum Green was able to capitalize on those opportunities to the tune of 20 points (and 5 3-pointers) and six rebounds as well as his typically stellar defense. The Pistons were led by Kentavious Caldwell-Pope who had 23 points and was able to catch fire in the second half when the game was mostly out of reach.